Thursday, December 9, 2010

Locally-made gifts for traveling with kids

You know the saying, "Be a tourist in your own hometown?" I had a chance to do just that on Saturday. The Hendricks County Convention and Visitors Bureau was kind enough to invite me on their Ho Ho Holiday Tour.  I grew up in Hendricks County (on the west side of Indianapolis), yet I had only been to one of the scheduled stops on our itinerary before this weekend. It was a fun day hanging around my old stomping grounds, particularly because I got to bring my sister, my ideal shopping partner (especially when we can leave our kids in the loving care of their dads).

I'm also making an effort to shop locally this year. It's not always possible with a toddler who doesn't tolerate popping in and out of shops for hours on end. So Saturday presented a perfect opportunity to get some gifts.

Our first stop that day was the Tri Kappa Gingerbread Christmas. It's a true craft and artisan fair. Vendors must submit their items in advance to be judged by a committee so that only the most high quality, handcrafted items are sold.  I picked up two items there that are perfect for traveling with toddlers.

A crayon bag:
This was handmade by a lovely woman. Each crayon has its own slot and the main compartment is the perfect size for a few coloring books. This will definitely be added to my must-pack list for trips. I'll even slide the arrow's beloved magna doodle inside. The woman didn't have a card, and she only sells her items at this show. But I've seen bags like this on Etsy, so I'm sure you can find something similar.

An I-Spy Bag:

My sister spotted this little bean bag. Attached to it is a list of items (like a penny, snowman and soccer ball). When you move the bag around in your hand, little trinkets show up in the clear window, which correspond with the list. (In the picture below, I'm attempting to demonstrate it for a still photo... not easy!) I think this could amuse the arrow for quite some time in the car or on a plane.

They are $10, and available from Time and Again Shop.

From the Gingerbread Christmas show, we headed to downtown Danville to explore some of the independent shops that surround their courthouse.

Luggage tag:

After spending time checking several black bags that looked very similar to our bag on our last flight (while the arrow ran wild through the baggage claim area), I promised myself I'd look for a bold luggage tag before our next trip. I found this one at The Healing Chi, a gift shop and wellness center.

Have you picked up any great travel products this year? Please share!

This post is a part of Things I Love Thursday at The Diaper Diaries.

Disclosure: I was a guest of the Hendricks County CVB throughout the day, but I purchased these items myself. I was under no obligation to write about the day's activities. All opinions are my own.